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I got caught off gaurd one day at the range. I had just returned to the line from fixing targets. Before I even had a chance to put on my ear muffs a guy lets lose with his shotgun.

Instantly I knew something was out of the ordinary. I could barely hear out of my shooters side ear. Of course after a few minutes my hearing came back but the ringing lasted quite some time.

One look at the ported shotgun told me what was up.

After that scenario I decided to take at the facts concerning muzzlebreaks and hearing damage.

Here are a few interesting things I found.....

Quoted from Chuckhawks website.


The muzzle blast from a powerful muzzle brake equipped rifle is so loud that even with hearing protection the shooter risks suffering some permanent hearing damage after a few shots. Earmuff type hearing protectors typically reduce noise by about 25 dB. A muzzle brake equipped magnum rifle (like a .300 or .338 Magnum) produces a sound pressure level (spl) in the 130-dB range, according to reports I have read. Thus the spl inside the hearing protector is in excess of 100 dB, a potentially damaging level.
For a hunter in the field, shooting without ear protection, the muzzle blast from a muzzle brake is immediately deafening. Nearly complete temporary deafness usually lasts from about a minute to several minutes after firing a powerful magnum rifle equipped with a muzzle brake. Later almost all of the shooter's hearing returns, but a certain amount is permanently lost, and the losses are cumulative.
This is why hunting rifles equipped with muzzle brakes are illegal in some African jurisdictions. They have proven damaging to the unprotected hearing of the scouts and guides accompanying the hunter. In North America an increasing number of big game guides now refuse to let a sport use a rifle equipped with a muzzle brake for the same reason.

Here is a link that gives actual noise levels resulting from gunfire.

Here is another interesting link that shows noise levels of non-gun items....puts things into perspective....

Notice that an increase of 10dba from 130dba to 140dba more than triples the sound pressure.Therefore increasing the noise by only a few decibles greatly increases the danger of hearing damage.
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